Varied narratives abound as to why the Roc Hotel which was begun about 40 years ago is yet to be completed. The hotel is a Plateau State Government-owned project which was well articulated and expected to add to the tourism potentials of the state.
Situated opposite the Lamingo Dam by Shere Hills in Jos North Local Government Area, the hotel, although uncompleted and lies in ruins, is an imposing edifice.
The question thus agitating people’s minds across the state is: why is the hotel yet to be completed four decades after its commencement?
The history of the 318-room five-star hotel dates back to the Solomon Lar government which awarded the contract for its construction in 1981 to Flemingdon Development Nigeria Limited.
The project is sitting on 29.189 hectares and in the plan it has has three presidential suites, eight luxury suites, 15 executive suites, 292 luxury double bedrooms and an executive office complex. Others are grill room, main dining room, two restaurants, medium and large conference rooms with the capacity of 500 and 200 seats respectively, a bar, a foyer, casino, cinema, Olympic size swimming pool, tennis court and four shops.
There is also a helipad, horse stable, a mini golf course, car park, gardens, road walks and water sports facilities; which was why the hotel was built facing a lake.
Despite its incompletion 40, many Plateau residents are enthusiastic about the hotel and expressed their preference to it than the many hotels across the state capital.
Our correspondent who visited the site gathered that a large part of the hotel’s land has been encroached upon.
Despite being abandoned, some persons still come around to perform one form of function or the other on the top floor of the building: like shooting music and videos.
The leader of a music and video production outfit, Kespan Maxwell, said despite the state of the hotel, they found it appealing for their productions, adding that the beautiful scenery around the place attracted them to bring their activities there.
Maxwell stressed that the design of the building and its gigantic nature would pull people from across the nation to the state, adding that if completed, the hotel would compete favourably with all the other five-star hotels across the country.
He, therefore, called on the state government to do all it took to complete the hotel and break the 40-year jinx.
A resident of Lamingo, Naomi Yusuf, said she grew up to meet the hotel in its present state, and that all she heard of it was rich benefit to the people and the state if completed.
She said it was a surprise to most residents of the state for such a lofty project to be abandoned, noting that there were other government-owned hotels in the state which had been in deplorable conditions over the years.
Another Jos resident, Philip Baba, said from indications the hotel might not be completed any time soon.
He said he only read in the papers or other media platforms from time to time of the government’s willingness to complete the hotel, but that the reality on ground was entirely contrary to what the authorities had been saying.
He further said he hardly passed “that road” without lamenting on the abandonment of the hotel and its sorry state, noting that it pained whenever he talked about it.
When contacted, the General Manager (GM) of Plateau State Tourism Corporation, Salome Audu Bidda, said the government had been trying to strike a partnership with international investors for the completion and full operation of the hotel, but that it was yet to secure any appropriate partnership due to some disagreeable terms and conditions.
She said they wanted to engage an investor that was capable and had the wherewithal, but that those that had been coming did not have the required capacity.
The GM further said government had been making effort to complete the hotel, pointing out that it was not always easy for government at all levels to effectively run a business, which was why Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) arrangement worked better for government-owned business outfits.
Whether from the perspectives of the government or the citizens of the state, one thing that is certain is that the hotel is unique, situated in a good location and when completed it would undoubtedly add to the fortunes of the state.
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